June 13, 2011

On Thought in Harness… #PoetrySummer, Week 2

I almost forgot to finish memorizing my poem for week two in the challenge given by Dan Wells. I remembered while rocking Eva before bed. Poor child. I don’t think she heard me gasp and start whispering about a falcon and my wrist, but if she did, she had the sense to keep quiet.

David called me from his hotel room in Atlanta just now and let me recite it for him. I succeeded!

As I mentioned last time, I chose On Thought in Harness by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It is a beautiful poem. Plus, it has a falcon.

My falcon to my wrist
Returns
From no high air.
I sent her toward the sun that burns
Above the mist;
But she has not been there.

Her talons are not cold; her beak
Is closed upon no wonder;
Her head stinks of its hood, her feathers reek
Of me, that quake at the thunder.

Degraded bird, I give you back your eyes forever, ascend now whither you are tossed;
Forsake this wrist, forsake this rhyme;
Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost,
But climb.

This week, I’m doing Lines for an Early Returning Home by George Scarbrough. He was wonder-full man, and  he was a friend. The first time we met, when he realized our connection—that he and David’s grandparents had grown up together in Polk County, TN and that we (David and I) often traveled back to see them—he spoke of traveling with us, home. This poem reminds me of the look in his eyes and of times I too went back to Polk County, to David’s mam-maw and pap-paw, who are now, along with George, gone and missed.

I’ll share the text next time.